Treatment and Prevention of Shin Splints
Shin splints are a common leg complaint, especially among runners and other athletes. They are characterised by pain in the front or inside aspect of the lower leg due to overexertion of the muscles. The pain may develop gradually without a history of trauma and might begin as a dull ache along the front or inside of the shin (Tibia) after running or even walking. Small bumps and tender areas may become evident adjacent to the shin bone. Shin splints usually involve small tears in the leg muscles where they attach to the shin bone.
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Treatment and Prevention
The best way to prevent shin splints is to stretch and strengthen the leg muscles, wear footwear with good shock absorption, and avoid running on hard surfaces or excessive running or jumping on the ball of the foot.
Insoles or orthotics that offer arch support for over-pronation are also important. Treatment for shin splints should include taking a break from the exercise that is causing the problem until the pain subsides. Cooling the area with ice immediately after running or other exercise can also be effective, along with gentle stretching before and after training.
What causes Shin Splints?
They can be caused when the muscles towards the front of the legs are stressed by running, especially on hard surfaces or extensively on the toes, or by sports that involve jumping.
Wearing sports shoes that are worn out or don’t have enough shock absorption can also cause this condition.
Over-pronated (feet with collapsed arches) are another factor that can lead to increased stress on the lower leg muscles during exercise.
People with high arched feet can also experience shin splint discomfort because this foot type is a poor shock absorber.